Health Care Series: a NN panel you don't want to miss!

Posted on behalf of ClammyC. Welcome Back!

In all seriousness, I am extremely excited to even be in the same room as the most excellent people noted below, for a panel entitled Organizing as a Healing Process: A Fresh Perspective on PTSD, which is not only an incredibly important issue that touches people in all walks of life, but also includes DailyKos and netroots superstars such as Ilona Meagher, Mike Shriver (also known as dadanation), VetVoice’s Richard Smith (RockRichard), ePluribus Media’sDenise Ford and most importantly, Lauren Reichelt (TheFatLadySings), without whom, this panel would never have happened.

PTSD is most commonly associated with veterans coming back from combat, but it also can impact anyone who has dealt with a traumatic situation – whether it was in the military, abuse, being a victim of a crime or even witnessing a traumatic event.  Much of the focus on treatment has been limited to particular areas or therapies.  What this panel hopes to accomplish is to share experiences and ideas for helping in the healing process.  Here is a good blurb from the panel information:

Few realize that individual survivors of trauma or even entire communities can experience the altered state of consciousness known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This state of consciousness can become an opportunity for new political and spiritual growth. Panelists explore new ways of looking at, healing from and organizing to address PTSD.

What I hope to do in the 75 minute panel session (from 2:00 -3:15 on Friday, August 14) is to have each of these excellent panelists talk about their personal experiences – whether it be experiencing PTSD personally or having a friend or family member experience PTSD, ways that they have coped with it, some history and perspective as well as community organizing and resources to help cope with the effects of PTSD.  


If you don’t know much about each of the panelists, I’ve put a bit of information below:


Ilona Meagher

Ilona is Author of Moving a Nation to Care: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and America’s Returning Troops, as well as editor of the top-ranked blog in its niche, PTSD Combat: Winning the War Within. In 2005, she began collecting OEF/OIF PTSD-related incidents that became the ePluribus Media PTSD Timeline, a comprehensive database accessed by federal bodies, media outlets, and researchers. In December 2007, Ilona testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on the issue of PTSD and veterans' suicide. Completing her studies at Northern Illinois University, in 2008 she received the Illinois Journalist of the Year Award-Student Scholarship.

Lauren Reichelt

Lauren Reichelt is director of a Health and Human Services Department in New Mexico where she oversees jail-based substance abuse treatment programs, intensive case management services for IV Drug Users and high-risk pregnant women, DWI prevention and treatment, and health care planning activities. She has worked with mothers of murdered children, substance abusers, and refugees. She uses organizing as a tool to help heal wounds resulting from historical trauma. She earned her MA in Comparative Culture from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. She blogs for Daily Kos and ePluribus Media as TheFatLadySings.

Mike Shriver

Mike Shriver is an accomplished artist, health advocate, policy wonk and activist. An original member of ACT UP/San Francisco, Mike helped shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in 1989. Professionally, he was Co-director of the AIDS Policy Research Center at UCSF, Special Advisor to Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. on AIDS and HIV Policy, was the youngest member ever of the San Francisco Health Commission, former executive director of Mobilization Against AIDS, was the deputy executive director for Policy at the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) and is on the Board for the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

Richard Smith

Richard Smith enlisted in the US Army at the age of 18. In 2007, he deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division and served as a non-commissioned officer for 14 months. During this deployment, he began blogging from the front lines on the blog "VetVoice" under pseudonym "RockRichard". Richard has also written at Daily Kos, Attackerman, the defunct Wordsmiths blog, and the randomly updated Rock the Boat. He has been quoted or featured in the Wall Street Journal, New Yorker magazine, the Washington Independent, on Air America Radio, Indie Talk Radio, and several other media outlets.

Denise Ford

Denise is a practicing licensed clinical social worker and political strategist, serving on the board of directors of ePluribus Media. She treats PTSD/trauma spectrum disorders in military and civilian populations. A critical measure of a civilization is its treatment of its warriors. Their neglect is diagnostic of sickness in the cultural "soul". She serves on the board of directors of the Community Area Resource Team in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, a public/private partnership that provides support to military members, veterans and their families. Her current projects are the development of a Veterans Court and expanding trauma integrated jail diversion programming.




I hope that all of you who are attending Netroots Nation this year will be able to attend the panel.  I am truly excited and honored to be a part of it, and look forward to seeing everyone there.

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